Coming to Your Garage: Le Car

The trouble with the government's new automobile emissions and efficiency standards

Finally, Americans can start moving forward—albeit in small, unsafe, state-mandated, subsidized pieces of junk.

We all remember a time when we drove around in nearly any variety of automobile desired. Well, thank goodness we're getting past that kind of anarchy.

Rejoice, my fellow citizens, in the forthcoming automobile emissions and efficiency standards, even if they happen to add more than $1,000 to the cost of your average car.

Just consider it charity or an "investment." Needless to say, you might as well pony up the dough; your tax dollars already are keeping the auto industry afloat.

Then again, despite my profound appreciation for all the decency being showered upon me, it is difficult not to marvel at the demagoguery and corruption that's employed to get it done. Take this supposed coming together of California, the United Auto Workers, Washington, and the auto industry in support of stringent new standards that would cut an entire 0.05 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States government, if you haven't noticed, owns the auto manufacturing industry, props up the last vestiges of "labor," and soon will bail out the failed state of California. So this harmonizing of disparate interests is what a gracious person might call a "conflict of interest" and an honest person refers to as "racketeering."

Let's, for a moment, stretch the limits of our imaginations and make believe that a Republican candidate won the most recent presidential election. Let's pretend he or she continued the Bush administration's policy of bailing out Detroit, as Obama has done. Imagine, then, that all of these state-backed parties came together to "support" legislation mandating the increased production of SUVs.

Surely, and appropriately, there would be mass indignation about this unholy coupling of business and government. Well, the sleazy process we're witnessing now is the same—even if this particular outcome happens to please you.

In the future, American automakers may have the capacity to create competitive fuel-efficient cars that most of us actually would want to drive. They may not. But as we all have witnessed, today failure is not an option. So no matter how poorly these cars perform, no matter how ridiculously overpriced or unsafe they may be, Washington (or, rather, you and your progeny) will prop them up.

While at one time, the push and pull between environmentalists and business interests led us to some middle ground on public policy, there is now hardly any opposition. It has been purchased with tax dollars.

Though using California's tough fuel-efficiency standards for the entire nation (and hasn't that state excelled?) brings some certitude to Detroit, why would the auto industry suddenly change course and drop its opposition to onerous regulations?

According to Forbes magazine, less than two years ago Chrysler officially put the cost of meeting similar standards at $6,700 per vehicle. Cerberus, which is a private equity firm, threatened to walk away from the auto giant because the new requirements would have meant the end of Chrysler.

Yet yesterday, there he was, the Chrysler CEO, with a gaggle of other paid-off shills at a Rose Garden news conference falling in line with President Barack Obama.

You may argue that this is what we voted for. But when we look at the decisions people make with their own dollars—rational, discriminating, and "selfish" decisions—we learn something quite different. You don't buy the kinds of small cars that government is demanding that Detroit start producing. Rather, you make trade-offs in efficiency, comfort, and safety.

You may take into consideration—though cars continue to get safer—a 2002 National Academy of Sciences study, which stated that vehicles following the Corporate Average Fuel Economy system's standards contribute to between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths every year. How many lives will be lost to new government mandates? Who knows?

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  • ||

    A cut and paste (with minor editing) from a comment I made earlier today -

    You are not now, nor will you be in the future, smart enough to weigh the purchase price, safety, convenience, comfort and operating costs and decide what type of auto you wish to purchase. The government in itg's infinite wisdom will do it for you. Fortunately Obama knows so much about this stuff that he can confidently predict how much you will save on gasoline costs with this mandate a decade down the road.

  • Mike||

    A year ago, I would have said "No way will the car companies let this happen!", but of course now, the two main owners of the car companies are Obama and the unions, neither of which have any interest in making cars anyone will buy. We are screwed, totally screwed. I'm going to have to maintain my Mustang for the next 20 years.

  • ||

    I totally had a Matchbox LeCar as a kid.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Fortunately Obama knows so much about this stuff that he can confidently predict how much you will save on gasoline costs with this mandate a decade down the road."

    Not only that but he also knows what your priorities in life should be much better than you do yourself. For example you might personally consider other attributes in cars to be of equal or greater importance than an absoulte maximization of fuel economy.

    But Obama knows better. You just aren't capable of seeing the "big picture" and aren't properly considering yourself as a mere cog in the wheel of the collective maching marching in lockstep to acheive objectives proclaimed by lord high Obama.

  • ||

    I totally had a Matchbox LeCar as a kid.

    If the article is correct, you'll get it back some day soon. Just don't take it on the freeway.

  • ||

    Of course maybe if the car companies had spent less money lobbying against this, and a bit more time learning how to build a fuel efficent car then maybe they wouldn't have been in this position in the first place.

    Gas prices will be going back up, and Americans will be buying smaller cars. Will the big three ever learn to make money off of them? Who knows. But now they do have some certainty about the matter.

  • Gilberty Martin||

    Maybe I'll just take the license plate off of my car and put in on the riding mower and start driving that to work.

    That's about what the Obamamoble is going to be like anyway.

  • House of Burgers||

    "even if they happen to add more than $1,000 to the cost of your average car."

    No. The average increased cost of the average car -- OVER THE LIFE OF THIS PLAN (through 2016)-- is $1,300. The cost will be much higher at the beginning of this transition. But Obama's folks say the average car buyer will save $2,800 over the life of the car.

    Personally, I doubt both figures. Especially the first one given that there's usually a big 60 month loan with interest involved in a car purchase. So that alleged $1,300 will likely be upwards of $2,000.

  • House of Burgers||

    "But Obama's folks say the average car buyer will save $2,800 over the life of the car."

    In fuel savings.

  • Nikola T||

    What about the medical bills from the increase in auto accident injuries?

    Oh yeah, they got that covered too. These guys are amazing!

  • ||

    But Obama's folks say the average car buyer will save $2,800 over the life of the car.

    Jot this down and it will save you a lot of time and trouble the next time Obama, or his people, say something out loud:

    They're lying.

  • ||

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Gas prices will be going back up, and Americans will be buying smaller cars. Will the big three ever learn to make money off of them?"

    They could have been making money on them all along if they had been able to import small fuel efficient cars from their foreign subsidiaries that had been built with cheaper labor. But the UAW butt-boys in Congress fixed it so they couldn't do that.

    Of course what the car buying public actually prefers are big powerfull cars and cheap gas to run them on.

    The government is doing its best to force the price of gas up by blocking any and all attempts at increasing domestic supply.

    And now the government is doing all it can to restrict the consmuer's choices of vehicles to buy by making standards dreamed up in the most wacko state in the Union the new national standard.

    So much for the idea that government is supposed to be the servant of the people - not the master.

  • Invisible Finger||

    even if they happen to add more than $1,000 to the cost of your average car

    I can't believe ANYBODY even falls for that bullshit.

    It'll add probably close to EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS. You see, most people buy their cars on 6-year loans. The sticker price may go up $1300, the actual money spent will be thousands more.

  • ||

    Of course maybe if American consumers had wanted to buy econoboxes and Congress hadn't prohibited the car companies from making them overseas and importing them had spent less money lobbying against this, and a bit more time learning how to build a fuel efficent car then maybe they wouldn't have been in this position in the first place.

    Everybody knows how to make fuel efficient cars. Everybody even knows how to make them at a profit. Of course, everybody also knows that you can't make them at a profit in a UAW shop.

  • Grow up !||

    Amazing how the right celebrates efficiency...except when it comes to oil consumption.

  • ||

    Amazing how the right celebrates efficiency...except when it comes to oil consumption.

    I find it amazing that the green left celebrates efficiency, except when it comes to the economy.

  • ||

    You may take into consideration-though cars continue to get safer-a 2002 National Academy of Sciences study, which stated that vehicles following the Corporate Average Fuel Economy system's standards contribute to between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths every year. How many lives will be lost to new government mandates? Who knows?

    This is really not a winning argument. It just makes you sound like one of those "What about the children?" idiots.

  • ||

    Here's an idea:

    We scrap CAFE, and let GM and Chrysler build whatever the fuck they think they can sell.

    If Chrysler wanted to build nothing but Dodge Ram pickups (which is what I would do, in their situation), they could do so. And if they couldn't make money selling trucks, we could just let the motherfuckers go out of business.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Amazing how the right celebrates efficiency...except when it comes to oil consumption.



    I know.

    All those GOP driven laws making it a summary execution crime to build and sell and efficient car. It was just awful.

  • Grow up !||

    I find it amazing that the green left celebrates efficiency, except when it comes to the economy.

    Does it follow that the right should therefore oppose fuel efficiency ?

    Note: I favor forced fuel efficiency (on environmental and foreign policy grounds) but think a big gas tax increase is a much better way to get there than the ham-fisted CAFE approach.

  • ||

    I think we should raise the gas tax; if we spent the money on better signage and lane markings, we'd probably save more lives than we could by forcing people into bigger cars.

  • ||

    "Does it follow that the right should therefore oppose fuel efficiency ?"


    Yes they should.

    1. It kills people. See above the 2002 National Academy of Sciences study, which stated that vehicles following the Corporate Average Fuel Economy system's standards contribute to between 1,300 and 2,600 traffic deaths every year.

    2. It is immoral and wrong to tell people what cars they can and cannot buy. If I want to spend more money on gas in return for increased safety and comfort I should be able to do so. It is none of yours or your room temperature IQ President's business.

    3. The standards have killed the American auto industry. If it hadn't been for CAFE standards, the american auto industry could have ceeded the small car market entirely to the Japanese and just made big cars, trucks, sports cars and SUVs that actually made them money. They could have become smaller, profitable niche companies. Instead, they had to continue making small cars to satisfy CAFE standards and are now broke.

  • ||

    The CAFE standards have also driven research dollars into efficiency. There is only so much research money to go around. Had it not been for CAFE, car makers could have spent that money on safety research. If someone wants to market their cars as being safe, comfortable but not fuel efficient, why the hell can't they?

  • old codger||

    There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza . . . .

  • ||

    A Vision of the Future Automobile

    [shuuuddder]

  • Paul||

    Yet yesterday, there he was, the Chrysler CEO, with a gaggle of other paid-off shills at a Rose Garden news conference falling in line with President Barack Obama.



    A car company, that despite Obama's repeated assertions he does not want to run, is being run by Obama.

    Corrupt motherfuckers.

  • Granite||

    While I agree with most of the article, the 'smaller cars are dangerous' line strikes me as largely fallacious. Most people I know that want to drive larger cars for safety reasons do it because the other people on the road are also driving large cars.

    In short: Nobody worries about bumper cars being dangerous, because everybody has the same size bumper car.

    Are there rational estimates of how much of the increased danger is based on getting hit by SUVs and how much is them actually being more dangerous?

    Don't disagree, just think the arguments we use should be correct and complete.

  • ||

    Paul,

    That is right. Obama is running the thing. Then they are going to make it impossible to buy anything but the mandated Obama mobile. Get ready for the 2012 hybrid Trabant because that is what you will be buying unless you have a shitload of cash.

  • ||

    "In short: Nobody worries about bumper cars being dangerous, because everybody has the same size bumper car.

    Are there rational estimates of how much of the increased danger is based on getting hit by SUVs and how much is them actually being more dangerous?"

    Unless you plan to ban all trucks and SUVs, something I wouldn't put past a fascist motherfucker like Obama, how do you plan to change that? As long as there are large cars out there, small ones won't be safe.

  • House of Burgers||

    "They're lying."

    I know THAT!

  • Bretton||

    "Grow up !"

    Your handle sucks pig dick.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    In re the dangers of small cars.

    Consider dividing collisions up into a few categories:

    1. with other passenger vehicles
    2. with working vehicles (pick ups, vans etc. used on the job and selected for the task)
    3. with freight vehicles (i.e. big rigs, trains)
    4. with stationary objects and pedestrians

    Category 1 is addressed in some measure by the "everyone is the same size" argument. Categories 2 and 3 not so much. Category 4 is harder to analyze but is presumably not helped much; however since category 4 includes pedestrians, who may get a modicum of protection from smaller cars I'll call it a wash.

    Best (unscientific) guess: smaller cars really are more dangerous.

    YMMV.

  • T||

    Are there rational estimates of how much of the increased danger is based on getting hit by SUVs and how much is them actually being more dangerous?

    The quickest and easiest way to fuel efficiency is to have a lighter vehicle. Guess where most of the weight in a vehicle is? If you answered frame, you're right! A lighter frame is going to be less rigid and subject to more deformation in the event of impact. Unless we start using titanium in car frames, a lighter car is more dangerous due to decreased structural rigidity. Ceter parabus, etc, etc.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Does it follow that the right should therefore oppose fuel efficiency ?"

    Strawman argument.

    The right doesn't oppose fuel efficieny. They are perfectly willing to allow consumers who value fuel efficiency over all other factors to choose cars that maximize that attribute. And they support allowing any car manufacturer who chooses to cater to that group of people to build cars to do so - regardless of where those cars are built or who is building them.

    What they don't support is mandating what type of cars consumers have to buy and what kind of cars manufacturers have to build.

  • iowahawk||

    Here's the film version of the Pelosi GTxi SS/RT.

    After a few years of these CAFE standards, I suspect we'll see more '53 Buicks on the road than in Havana.

  • ¢, yo.||

    Best (unscientific) guess: smaller cars really are more dangerous.

    Physics is unscientific now?

    Yo, fuck Obama, yo.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "While I agree with most of the article, the 'smaller cars are dangerous' line strikes me as largely fallacious. Most people I know that want to drive larger cars for safety reasons do it because the other people on the road are also driving large cars."

    But people usually have more than one reason for buying a car. And they may want a big one both for safety and because they have a bunch of kids to haul around.

    Besides there are going to be plenty of large vehicles on the road for quite a while - especially if new big ones become a lot more expensive or not available at all. That will make people hang onto their old ones longer if they can't replace them.

  • kinnath||

    Let's take the simplest case, where a driver departs the travelled portion of the roadway and intersects an immobile obstacle.

    One of the key safety aspects of a vehicle is the presence of crumple-zones which absorb/dissipate energy as the car deccelerates to 0 miles per hour. A smaller car must have smaller crumple zones and less material to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate which is how the kinetic energy of the vehicle is absorded and dissipated.

    In this case, the smaller, lighter vehicle will be less safe than a larger, heavier vehicle.

    And then, when you're in one of the smallest vehicles on the road, almost every accident involving another vehicle is more dangerous for you on top of the basic lack of protective material around you.

    Of course, the one thing that all those soccer moms never pay attention to is when they are driving a monster SUV their kiddies may be safer, but they represent a major threat to just about everyone else on the road.

  • ||

    "Of course, the one thing that all those soccer moms never pay attention to is when they are driving a monster SUV their kiddies may be safer, but they represent a major threat to just about everyone else on the road."

    So what? It is your choice to drive a small car. Even your small car is a hell of a threat to me on my motorcycle. Does that mean that you are being selfish driving it?

  • ||

    Best (unscientific) guess: smaller cars really are more dangerous.

    Scientifically, all things being equal, yes, yes they are.

    Small cars vs. mid-size cars

    Not pretty, if you're a small car.

  • kinnath||

    First thing the dude talks about is "crush zones" . . . .

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "So what? It is your choice to drive a small car. Even your small car is a hell of a threat to me on my motorcycle. Does that mean that you are being selfish driving it?"

    Yeah - let's just force everyone down to the lowest common denominator. Just ban vehicles altogether and make everyone walk everywhere.
    Just think of how much safer we'll all be!

  • kinnath||

    "Of course, the one thing that all those soccer moms never pay attention to is when they are driving a monster SUV their kiddies may be safer, but they represent a major threat to just about everyone else on the road."

    So what?


    There was a major revolt when insurance companies tried to raise rates on SUVs because they were more dangerous. Most people just don't grasp "liability".

  • kinnath||

    fucking tags :-(

  • phalkor||

    The first car my dad ever purchased was a leCar. When he told me this, my reaction was "what were you thinking? were you stoned?". To which the answer was "probably".

  • kinnath||

    Does that mean that you are being selfish driving it?

    Absolutely. But, anyone that doesn't care more about their own children than strangers is warped ;-)

  • ||

    The answer Kinnath is the one they use in Naples where entire families of four or more can be seen on a single Vespa.

  • kinnath||

    Blonde bimbos driving 3-ton SUVs with cells phones in hand, cause a different kind of arms race with a different mode of Mutually Assured Destruction.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "There was a major revolt when insurance companies tried to raise rates on SUVs because they were more dangerous. Most people just don't grasp "liability"."

    Insurance companies usually focus on the how safe the vehicle is for it's ocupants - not it's effect on another vehicle in a crash. I seem to recall a rollover problem with some SUV's due to a higher center of gravity. If the insurance companies were trying to raise rates, I imagine it had more to do with that than any notion that they were more dangerous for whoever else they happened to hit.

    An insurance company is only liable for the particular accidents where the insured party is at fault anyway - regardless of what the vechile being driven is.

    If you're driving a Sherman tank and somebody totals themself out by running into you, the fault is still their own.

  • kinnath||

    The answer Kinnath is the one they use in Naples where entire families of four or more can be seen on a single Vespa.

    Been to Guanzho China and seen first hand a family of four on a scooter.

    I always found the safety argument to be bullshit. Once you get past a full-sized sedan, the increase in safety for your passengers is marginal. But the increase in danger to anyone you encounter in accident goes up almost linearly with your weight.

    Big SUVs have always been about having the biggest dick or or biggest tits depending upon the gender of the driver.

  • kinnath||

    By the way, I have no problems with people that use SUVs for their intended purpose.

  • kinnath||

    If the insurance companies were trying to raise rates, I imagine it had more to do with that than any notion that they were more dangerous for whoever else they happened to hit.

    This was specifically the liability portion of insurance due to the property damage and personal injuries you inflict when you cause and accident.

  • kinnath||

    There is a problem when an SUV T-bones a passenger car. Because of the high profile of the SUV, the SVU plows right over the top of the safety beam in the car door. This vastly increases the probability of head injuries and death to the occupants of the car.

    The SUV manufacturors eventually redesigned the SVU bummpers to lower the bottom edge of the bumper so that the SUV will impact side beams in the car doors.

    The insurance rate issue was prior to the bumper redesign by the SUV manufacturors.

  • phalkor||

    An SUV just killed someone I know (not joking). Granted he was on a motorcycle (a crotch-rocket as it were) but I can't help but think SUV as being deadlier to a motorcyclist than something you could actually roll over. The shape and size of an SUVs drag profile are not kind to human-sized objects.

    This really cannot be denied, nor can the freedom to drive obnoxiously large vehicles. If forced to choose between getting hit by a Land Rover at 30mph or a Yaris at 45, go for the Yaris and curse the gods for why you were forced to get hit by a car in the first place.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "This was specifically the liability portion of insurance due to the property damage and personal injuries you inflict when you cause and accident."

    If that's the case, then they should be charging higher rates for large pickups like Ford F-250's, utility vans, minivans - and 63 Cadillacs as well.

  • kinnath||

    If that's the case, then they should be charging higher rates for large pickups like Ford F-250's, utility vans, minivans - and 63 Cadillacs as well.

    See prior post. In the late 80's and early 90's there were lots of deaths involving accidents with SUVs at moderate speeds (in town driving) that should have been survivable. The problem was diagnosed and remedied. During the interim, the insurance companies floated the idea of increasing rates. This idea was shouted down quickly.

    Minivans and full size vans never had the design "feature" of SUVs that was driven by high clearance requirements for off-road operations that apparently lead to the SUV anamoly. I assume that work trucks did not have the same problem, because they never made the news in regards to anomolous death rates.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Best (unscientific) guess: smaller cars really are more dangerous.

    Physics is unscientific now?



    Naw. Just my analysis.

    BTW, one should be careful in thinking about the "hits a stationary object" case. There is less distance and material for absorbing energy, but also less energy. And the mass_frame/mass_everything_else ratio may be better in the smaller car---but don't quote me till I've had more time to think about it (or someone can bring some actual data to the discussion).

    And, so far we're all been neglecting the risk-compensation thing.

    But the sticking point in the safety argument is that you're not going to get the 25 ton semis off the road anytime soon.

    'Course the big sticking point is that it is not the Obamatron's business to tell me what kind of car I can buy...

  • Oh Noes You Dint!||

    Is that the real iowahawk up there?

  • ed||

    Obama and his Retard Army of Democrat Strategists are reading from the same playbook. I saw several of his Mental Munchkins on the various cable news shows last night and they barely wavered from the script. Somehow Dear Leader has vast knowledge of cars yet to be built, what their repair expenses will be, what the cost of gasoline will be seven years from now, how insurance premiums will be affected by smaller, lighter, more dangerous vehicles...and Americans will still come out ahead! Dear Leader is all that, and more. Trust him!

  • kinnath||

    BTW, one should be careful in thinking about the "hits a stationary object" case. There is less distance and material for absorbing energy, but also less energy.

    The issue is the delta time from crusing speed to 0 mph. The deceleration of your brain in your head is what causes death.

    With a light car and small crush zones, delta T is very small, therefore the impact of your brain hitting the front of your skull is higher.

    Got it.

  • Propper Pint||

    "because they never made the news in regards to anomolous death rates."

    Didn't CBS news stage som accidents involving trucks and try to pass it off as real?

  • Obama||

    "Dear Leader is all that, and more. Trust him!"

    I am the reserection and the light.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "But the sticking point in the safety argument is that you're not going to get the 25 ton semis off the road anytime soon."

    Or any of the smaller-but-still-a-lot-bigger-than-a-car type commercial vehicles either.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    BTW, one should be careful in thinking about the "hits a stationary object" case. There is less distance and material for absorbing energy, but also less energy.

    The issue is the delta time from crusing speed to 0 mph. The deceleration of your brain in your head is what causes death.



    I can be talked out of this if you have data, but I wasn't aware that brain trauma in intact skulls was a big killer.

    Lets see, I make v = 70 MPH to be 31 m/s.

    Assume a uniform deceleration (bad assumption, but not horrible) across l meters to a full stop gives a = v^2/(2l). My Grand Marque had about 2 meters of engine compartment and bumper. My Camry has about 1.5 meters. Le car looks like about 1 meter (will it even go 70?).

    a_GM = 25 gees
    a_TC = 30 gees
    a_LC = 50 gees. Ouch.

    OK, I buy it at highway speed. The v^2 means the situation gets better fast as you slow down.

  • Paul||

    Granted he was on a motorcycle (a crotch-rocket as it were) but I can't help but think SUV as being deadlier to a motorcyclist than something you could actually roll over.

    I dunno, is it remotely possible that your friend on the motorcycle carries some responsibility for the crash? If a day goes by when some dumbass on a 'crotch rocket (as it were) weren't doing something retarded, it wouldn't be a normal day. In fact, forget SUV's, I hear tell semi-trucks are hell on motorcyclists...

  • Invisible Finger||

    This really cannot be denied, nor can the freedom to drive obnoxiously large vehicles. If forced to choose between getting hit by a Land Rover at 30mph or a Yaris at 45, go for the Yaris and curse the gods for why you were forced to get hit by a car in the first place.

    Since you don't have a clue about physics, I can safely assume anything you say about fuel efficiency is equally ill-informed. So why would anyone who DOES know these subjects get swayed by your anecdotes when there's actual compiled data that says otherwise?

  • Paul||

    Unintentionally funny bit on NPR the other day. Some 'expert' talking about all the new battery technology and components used to make them vis. all the new 'lectric cars we're all going to be driving now that Obama runs the car companies-- he mentioned that we need to reduce our dependency on foreign battery technology.

    I was waiting for the rimshot but none was heard.

  • iowahawk||

    "Is that the real iowahawk up there?"

    One and the same, sir/madam.

    /hat-flourishing bow

  • ||

    The issue is the delta time from crusing speed to 0 mph. The deceleration of your brain in your head is what causes death.

    That's one cause, but internal injuries from the impact and cabin intrusion causes death equally so. No idea which is the greater cause of death.

    It's not the speed that kills you, but the sudden stop.

  • Grow up !||

    What a bunch of wingnuts pretending to be marihuana-smoking mavericks.

    Let's see... We import -- indeed depend on -- huge amounts of oil from wonderfully stable places like Venezuela, Nigeria, and ...drum roll, please... the Mideast. Are you guys really sure it doesn't matter how much oil we consume ?

    And like foreign policy, I suppose the environment is not a matter of common concern. Each individual walks around with his own biosphere... Right ?

  • kinnath||

    That's one cause, but internal injuries from the impact and cabin intrusion causes death equally so. No idea which is the greater cause of death.

    It's not the speed that kills you, but the sudden stop.


    The crush zone helps in many ways including slowing dynamics of the crash down and helping to prevent the engine from intruding into the passenger compartment.

    Any accident in one of the micro cars with a little engine tucked right up against the firewall is going to be bad for front passengers for a lot of reasons.

  • MJ||

    "Does it follow that the right should therefore oppose fuel efficiency ?"- Grow Up

    It follows that the right should oppose forcing the consumer to maximimize fuel efficiency when choosing a vehicle. I am not opposed to fuel efficiency, but such efficency comes at price in safety, cargo capacity, power, etc., and I want to choose which features to prioritize

    "Note: I favor forced fuel efficiency (on environmental and foreign policy grounds) but think a big gas tax increase is a much better way to get there than the ham-fisted CAFE approach."

    So you want to impose your values on everyone else and lower everyone's standard of living even further?

    You are a preening, self-righteous prick.

  • MJ||

    "Of course, the one thing that all those soccer moms never pay attention to is when they are driving a monster SUV their kiddies may be safer, but they represent a major threat to just about everyone else on the road."

    Given today's child seat restaint laws, if you have more than one or two kids, a family is pretty much compelled to own at least one vehicle in the SUV/Minivan class. A lot of what people choose to drive is influenced by what our other laws and regulations say.

  • jg6||

    "I can be talked out of this if you have data, but I wasn't aware that brain trauma in intact skulls was a big killer."

    The biggest cause of death from low-energy accident is brain (and cervical stem) trauma.

    And if it doesn't kill you, it might make you vote straight ticket, thus punishing the rest of us, too.

  • ||

    But Obama's folks say the average car buyer will save $2,800 over the life of the car.

    That pencils out over 5 years only if gas is $4/gallon. That also assumes neither the feds nor the states institute intrusive mileage taxes in order to make up for an assumed loss of excise tax revenue.

    Don't forget, ladies and gentlemen, that a CO2 standard and a mileage standard are exactly the same thing. It's redundant to have both, so the only reason to have both is to mislead the uninformed observer.

  • ||

    I had to laugh when Obama was speaking in Elkart In. to a bunch of people laid off from the RV. industry there. He was talking about how he was going to fix things when, in reality, his programs mean the end of RV's. Either we will be prohibited by law from making anything large enoughto use as an RV, or it will become so expensive to fuel it that middle class Americans will not be able to afford them. The same is going to happen to the recreational boating industry. Is this the change the Obama voters wanted?

  • Grow Up !||

    So you want to impose your values on everyone else and lower everyone's standard of living even further?

    Ah, so spending money on fuel instead of other things is the key to a higher standard of living.

    And of course, you "libertarians" don't want to impose values on anyone, no siree !

  • Hucbald||

    "Big SUVs have always been about having the biggest dick or or biggest tits depending upon the gender of the driver."

    Sometimes an SUV is just an SUV.

  • ||

    In many ways spending money on fuel is the key to a better life. If farms had never been mechanized, food production would be 1/10 what it is now. Heating your home is part of what I consider to be a better life. God this is simple minded stuff.

  • ||

    I can't believe ANYBODY even falls for that bullshit.

    It'll add probably close to EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS. You see, most people buy their cars on 6-year loans. The sticker price may go up $1300, the actual money spent will be thousands more.


    Also, I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the Obamacrats didn't discount the savings to present value in order to arrive at that $2,800 figure.

  • ||

    But Obama's folks say the average car buyer will save $2,800 over the life of the car.

    That pencils out over 5 years only if gas is $4/gallon.



    But I'm sure that if you stretch it out over the 15 years you'll have to keep the car (since you won't be able to afford a replacement), it works out fine.

  • ||

    About 30 years ago, when I had no money, I decided my best vehicle choice would be a $500 pickup truck. I figured I could buy 24 of them for the price of a new $12,000 car. Even if they lasted only a few months I would save money. I bought a 1955 GMC pickup for $500. It came with livesstock racks in case I wanted to haul a cow or something. I did only minimal maintenance and waited for it to fall apart. Never did. Five years later somebody handed me $400 and drove it away. My pickup looked nasty. When the weather was hot, I was hot. When the weather was cold, I wore a coat and gloves. Got around 20 mpg, but I could stretch a tank of gas a lot further by turning off the engine and coasting down hills. It had a canopy on the back, so I didn't need a tent on camping trips. These vehicles were indestructible in crashes and when, once or twice, someone bumped me in a parking lot and caused another dent, I would pat them on the head and tell them not to worry about it. Insurance was cheap because I only needed liability coverage.

    Craig's List still features many vehicles like this. I'm not afraid of Obamamobiles, If I need transportation, I know where to go. The only thing is that I have two very serviceable vehicles, both over 10 years old and each with over 160,000 miles that show no signs of giving up any time soon. So, everyone, go ahead and buy a new car, but I'll take your discards and spend the money I save on something fun.

  • ||

    The biggest American cars are the most dangerous, not the safest.

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/06/most-dangerous-vehicles-lifestyle-vehicles_0206_dangerous_vehicles_slide_7.html?thisSpeed=15000

    That's based on testing, but crash stats tell the same story.

    An actual head on collision with another car, front bumper to front bumper, is not that common, and even then, size doesn't always equal performance.

  • ||

    Or in the sage words of my senator Tom Coburn, Americans should be free to buy gas guzzlers. Freedom!

  • Grow Up !||

    * It's been pointed out elsewhere that if a vehicle makes you feel a little unsafe (like a small car might), you're more likely to drive carefully, thus avoiding collisions in the first place. We need to consider physics and psychology.

    * If everyone drives a big vehicle, so much for the relative advantage.

    * To reiterate: I favor a hike in the gas tax instead of the CAFE approach. If you want to drive a gas guzzler, fine, but you should be forced by the government to pay for the environmental consequences and also to provide Money For The Troops in the Mideast.

  • Scarpe Nike Italia||

    is good

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